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Gullapalli & Associates Launches First-of-Its-Kind Patient Centered CME(TM) (PCCME(TM)) Service, Names Dora Ochsenbein Manager of Educational Planning
Date:5/28/2009

New Service Helps Providers Better Partner with Patients in All Phases of Care

JERSEY CITY, N.J., May 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Deepening its commitment to empowering patients and aiding healthcare providers in improving health outcomes, Gullapalli & Associates, LLC, a firm of strategic healthcare consultants specializing in collaborative medical education initiatives, has established a new, first-of-its-kind service called Patient Centered CME(TM) (PC-CME(TM), PCCME(TM)). Dora Ochsenbein, who joins the company as manager of educational planning, will be responsible for developing, implementing and managing programs offered through the new service.

"Patients play a vital role in healthcare today and can play an even greater role with the right tools and opportunities," said Venkat Gullapalli, M.D., chief executive officer of Gullapalli & Associates. "The goal of our new PCCME service is to work with collaborative partners to facilitate the design and development of medical education curricula that allow healthcare providers to gain a deeper understanding of patient needs and preferences and apply those insights in systematic ways to reap the full benefits of patient-centered care. Research has shown that providers who partner with their patients and actively involve them in making personal healthcare decisions increase the patients' satisfaction with care, improve adherence to prescribed treatment regimens, reduce costs, and measurably improve health outcomes."

As its name suggests, patient-centered care gives primary consideration to the needs and wants of patients, respecting their personal preferences, values, family situations, cultural traditions and individual lifestyles. Patients and medical professionals become active collaborators in making clinical decisions and patients are given the tools and support to take responsibility for their own self-care and monitoring. Patient-centered care ensures that transitions between providers, departments, and health care settings are efficiently coordinated, which reduces unneeded and unwanted services while increasing patient satisfaction and medication adherence and persistence.

"Historically, most medical decisions were made without much input from patients and based on a disease-centered model, meaning that clinical experience and the data from various medical tests were the key determiners of what treatment plan was pursued," said Gullapalli. "A patient-centered approach allows patients to identify which treatment options they find most acceptable and receive services that address those preferences. This approach is particularly beneficial in chronic conditions where patients and providers have a choice of treatment plans or a disease is not life-threatening but can dramatically affect quality of life."

The Institute of Medicine, which serves as adviser to the nation on issues related to improving health, recognizes patient-centered care as one of six "domains of healthcare quality." Gullapalli & Associates has developed PCCME to assist providers in implementing these patient-centered care practices. Audiences for the new service include professional medical organizations, medical centers of excellence, medical education and communication companies, and the pharmaceutical industry.

Dora Ochsenbein Named Manager of Educational Planning

Dora Ochsenbein, who joins Gullapalli & Associates as manager of educational planning, will be the lead planner for all Patient Centered CME programs, responsible for the design, development, implementation and management of PCCME initiatives. She reports to Regina Motarjeme, vice president of educational planning.

"Dora's background in patient advocacy and medical communications make her especially well-suited for this role," said Gullapalli. "She understands the vital importance of patient-centric decision-making in improving outcomes."

Ochsenbein previously served as director of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Phoenix, Ariz., where she worked closely with patients and stakeholders to substantially expand the organization's network of supporters through corporate sponsorships and major statewide fundraising activities. She also worked as finance coordinator for the patient advocacy group Make-A-Wish Foundation of Arizona and in various management roles at FaxWatch, Inc. (now VerusMed), a clinical news brief service headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Ochsenbein lives in Phoenix, Ariz., where she remains an active volunteer with state chapters of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

About Gullapalli & Associates, LLC

Gullapalli & Associates is a New Jersey-based consulting firm that specializes in facilitating the development of collaborative medical education programs with a variety of CME stakeholders, creating initiatives that provide measurable outcomes, actionable performance data, and improved patient care. The company identifies and manages a range of strategic partnerships, channels, and resources to augment the impact of services provided.

Patient Centered CME(TM), PC-CME(TM), and PCCME(TM) are trademarks of Gullapalli and Associates, LLC.

For additional information on Patient Centered CME (PCCME) or Gullapalli & Associates, contact Kathyann Saleem at (201) 984-3332, email ksaleem@gullapalliandassoc.com or visit www.gullapalliandassoc.com.

    CONTACT: Cynthia Amorese (908) 665-8072   Julie Laitin (212) 286-2424
             Email: camorese@comcast.net      Email: jlaitin@julielaitin.com


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